Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., will hold his much-anticipated hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" next week.
One panelist who plans to testify at the hearing is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a former Navy Lieutenant Commander and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a non-profit organization whose missions is to promote Islam's compatibility with democracy and American values, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and gender equality.
In addition, the AIFD opposes political Islam and supports Israel, saying "we feel it is necessary to make a foundational position statement regarding the state of Israel. We stand in support of the existing unqualified recognition of the state of Israel behind internationally recognized borders." The group also supports the creation of an independent Palestine, saying "we also separately stand in recognition of the need for the completion of the formation of an independent Palestinian state on the current "occupied territories" living side by side next to the established state of Israel."
In advance of his testimony, George Soros-funded Media Matters has attacked Jasser as a "conspiracy-touting credential-free star witness" of King's upcoming hearing, dismissing him as a "physician and former U.S. Navy medical officer with no background in law enforcement or public policy."
"What Jasser lacks in expertise, he makes up for in ties to right-wing media figures, appearances in documentaries that have been rejected by PBS and the New York Police Department, and a willingness to call Muslim civil rights groups with which he disagrees 'fronts' for the Muslim Brotherhood," Media Matters writes.
As conservative blogger Dan Riehl notes, having an expertise in a particular policy area is often not a requisite for providing testimony before Congress:
What Jasser is, is engaged, active and interested in calling out fellow Muslims perceived as not having America’s best interests at heart. We know this from simply observing the behavior of organizations such as CAIR, and others. Though often subtle, what those groups do is trumpet a Muslim identity politics, or Islam, over an American identity and straight-forward dedication to American exceptionalism and our Constitution. Jasser offers a competing view. For that and that alone, the Left now seeks to silence him. ...
If one wants absolute proof that MMFA’s attack on Jasser is utterly ridiculous, one need look no further than the case of Cindy Sheenhan. Not only did the Left do everything it could to make her a media star, there were never any complaints from Media Matters when she was called to testify before Congress. If the knock on Dr. Jasser is that he has no background in law enforcement or public policy, what was Sheehan’s background in military strategy, international relations, or public policy that qualified her to offer testimony? The answer is none, of course. The only difference is that Sheehan agreed with the Left and the likes of Media Matters. ...
Aside from Sheehan, did Media Matters ever question Democrats' invitation to have comedian Stephen Colbert testify on farm subsidies, or actor Ben Affleck's apparent expertise on the Congo?
Kevin Costner has weighed in on how best to clean up the Gulf oil spill and Sheryl Crow has testified in support of copyright laws.
Nicole Kidman told members of Congress that domestic violence is bad (duh) and one of the Jonas brothers testified to get more funding for diabetes research.
The only "expertise" these individuals have is being public celebrities used to the limelight whose names draw media attention.
"All [Media Matters] demonstrates with their unfounded attack on Jasser is their typical jackbooted approach to silencing all dissent," Riehl concludes. "Disagree with them and you are ripe for smearing, undermining and running into the ground if they can."
Jasser is well-read, well-researched and is a leading figure in his field of expertise. And if all that weren't enough to justify his congressional testimony for Media Matters, Jasser recently revealed to the Washington Post his most notable qualification: "A lifetime of practicing my faith."